Never too young to reflect on the past

As young and active baby boomers, is it too soon to reflect on our lives? Not for BoomerCafé contributor Larry Lefkowitz.

Probably from watching too much TV, I have always had the image in my head of an elderly person sitting on the porch, reflecting on what life has been.

Larry Lefkowitz

Larry Lefkowitz

I am sure there places in this world where that really occurs, but I have known very few people who actually did it. I live next door to an octogenarian couple who have as much energy as I do, and probably more. No, definitely more.

They go places and do things together, and talk all the time.

They like to sit out on our tiny adjoining townhouse porch and just watch nature or wave to the neighbors, and talk. For years now, I have gotten joy out of sitting with Don and Barb and listening to them reflect on how things used to be, how they are now for them, and I marvel at how pragmatic they are. Sure, they know they lived through simpler times, and they are concerned for their adult children and growing grandchildren, but I seldom hear them lament the passing of their prime.

They still know how to wring enjoyment out of life from the simplest of things. A quiet summer afternoon, listening to their favorite music, meeting with surviving friends and relatives, or just enjoying a meal together. I am envious of them that they have that friendship, weathered and nurtured over many decades, starting from high school. Statistically, few of us are so blessed.

porch talk

Single for many years, I find that living vicariously through them is a very warm experience, and I love to hear about the days of their youth. Through them, I am better able to enjoy my surroundings, understand how fortunate we are to be here, and to never take for granted that which is all around us.

Well ahead of the years when I thought I would be doing this, I often sit and watch the trees bend with the breeze, the birds foraging, the insects bustling in the circle of life. Before I go to bed each night, I stick my head outside and inhale the outdoors, allowing all the memories that outdoor odors evoke of my life. Pictures of the past are instantly painted with a whiff of familiar natural fragrances, be they grass, snow, or rain.

I think my children probably think me eccentric now, and maybe they are right, but I know they will someday do the same. I may not live life to the fullest in the traditional sense, but I believe in a macro life, and it suits me. The wonder of what is and the realization of our fortunes is a wavelength that rings harmoniously with my reflections.

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  1. I just turned 60 and I’m not lamenting the passing of my prime, because this FEELS like my prime. I’m happy and healthy and solvent. What’s not to enjoy? That being said, sitting around on that porch sure looks like fun. Inspiring essay — thanks!

  2. Yes, yes, I agree. With the fortune , mostly, of health, these years truly seem to be the best. Insecurities lag behind us, hopefully, we’ve collected a bit of wisdom along the way, and we can be much for vital now than in earlier years when searching for identity and raising families steered our priorities in different directions.

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